Not a judgement! Attorney General warns against ‘overreacting’ to by-election results

By-elections: Braverman warns against ‘overreacting’ to results

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The Attorney General warned Conservative supporters and ministers not to be overly concerned about the by-election results of Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton where the Tories lost their seats to Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.

Suella Braverman, who is also the Conservative MP for Fareham, explained many people had voted in protest and, therefore, the results didn’t indicate a dramatic decline of electoral support for the Tories.

Both constituencies had been Conservative strongholds, although Ms Braverman suggested the by-elections had offered voters an opportunity to express their frustrations without risking the loss of an overall Tory leadership.

Ms Braverman continued: “Overreacting to by-election results has never really been the right response. 

“We take on board the concerns that have been clearly voiced by pockets of the country in these by-elections. 

“We are disappointed, we will continue to work harder to regain support from people around the country. 

“Ultimately, these are one offs.”

The Tory MP suggested voters had taken the by-elections in both constituencies as an opportunity to express their recent frustration with the Conservative leadership as Boris Johnson’s Government battles to deal with rising inflation among other national concerns.

Ms Braverman therefore implied the results reflected a general sense of irritability across the nation rather than a widespread defection of Tory supporters to opposition parties.

The Attorney General added: “These are not a judgement on who is going to be governing Britain. 

“That’s why people often feel that they can vote protest because they have a luxury of not actually changing the Government.”

Read more: Tactical voting signal danger for Conservatives upset with Boris

Ms Braverman maintained that the by-election results were not indicative of the results of a future general election.

The predictions of the Attorney General have been mirrored by polling data from YouGov which suggests the Conservatives have retained voter favour over the Labour party.

In a voter intention tracker, YouGov data shows the majority of those polled still believe the Tories would win the next general election over a Labour campaign for leadership.

 Moreover, additional YouGov data has shown voters believe the Conservative party would be better suited than Labour to handle numerous issues of current political focus including defence, Brexit, the economy and the justice system.

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Addressing the by-election results, the Prime Minister said: “We’ve got to recognise voters are going through a tough time at the moment.

“As a Government, I’ve got to listen to what people are saying.”

Mr Johnson said the opposition will “continue to beat me up” and “attack” his political reputation but vowed he would “get on” with addressing the core concerns in the UK.

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